FRISCO, Texas. (Oct. 14, 2018) – The U.S. Women’s National Team booked its spot at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup by rolling past Jamaica 6-0 in the semifinal of the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship. It will be the eighth consecutive World Cup appearance for the USA, which has appeared in each of the previous seven tournaments that have been contested and winning in 1991, 1999 and 2015.
The USA scored inside the first 10 minutes in its fourth consecutive game at this tournament with Tobin Heath finding the net just 100 seconds into the game. She then added another goal later in the half for her second career multi-goal game. Megan Rapinoe scored on a beautiful finish in the 15th minute to expand the lead to 2-0. Julie Ertz and Alex Morgan also tallied to hand the USA a 5-0 advantage at halftime. By the end of a dominant first half, the USA had out-shot Jamaica 15-1.
To begin the second 45, the USA made a couple of subs and continued to control the pace of the game and maintained its shooting advantage (11-2 in the second half). The only goal of the frame came via a penalty kick awarded to Morgan, who buried the shot for her 96th international score.
In the first match of the day, Canada defeated Panama 7-0, to earn its berth at the 2019 World Cup and advanced to Wednesday’s championship game vs. the USA. Panama will face Jamaica earlier that Wednesday (5 p.m. ECT; FS2) with the winner of that game claiming the third automatic berth to the 2019 World Cup. The fourth-place finisher will head into a two-game playoff vs. Argentina in November.
The USA and Canada will then clash at 8 p.m. ET for the right to be crowned Concacaf champions. The match will be broadcast on FS1 or FS2 depending on the MLB Playoffs schedule. The game will also be available on UDN.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Tobin Heath, 2nd minute: The USA scored just one minute and forty seconds into the game when a Kelley O'Hara cross from the right side was poorly cleared to the feet of Lindsey Horan. She collected, made room for her shot and fired on goal. Jamaica goalkeeper Sydney Schneider made the save with a dive to her left, but couldn't hold the ball, and Heath, who had drifted into the penalty area from the right wing was all alone to blast home the rebound with her left foot from just outside the six-yard box. USA 1, JAM 0. WATCH GOAL.
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Abby Dahlkemper), 15th minute: The USA doubled its lead after a world class long ball from Abby Dahlkemper – that she struck from inside her own defensive half – flew from the right side all the way over to the streaking Rapinoe on the left flank. Rapinoe brought the ball down in stride wonderfully on her chest and raced into the penalty area with a defender in tow before smashing a left-footed blast into the roof of the net from the corner of the six-yard box. USA 2, JAM 0. WATCH GOAL.
USA – Julie Ertz (Crystal Dunn), 21st minute: The third goal came off a brilliant cross from Dunn who ran down a pass deep in the left corner. She then sent a perfect, left-footed service to the far post where Ertz hammered home a header from close range. USA 3, JAM 0. WATCH GOAL.
USA – Tobin Heath (Lindsey Horan), 29th minute: Heath bagged her brace on a nice piece of ball possession on the left flank that pulled the Jamaica defense to that side. Heath then snuck in behind the defense in the right side of the penalty area and Horan found her with a perfectly chipped pass. Heath's finish was clinical as she struck a left-footed volley past the onrushing Schneider and into the right side of the goal. USA 4, JAM 0. WATCH GOAL.
USA – Alex Morgan (Megan Rapinoe), 33rd minute: The USA scored yet another goal off a set play to go up 5-0 as Rapinoe spun a cross on the ground into the penalty area off a free kick from outside the penalty area on the left side. Morgan lost her mark struck a first-time shot through traffic and into the net from the top of the six-yard box for her 95th career goal. USA 5, JAM 0. WATCH GOAL.
USA – Alex Morgan (penalty kick), 84th minute: Alex Morgan freed herself on the right side and ran towards the goal when a Jamaica defender grabbed her by the waist, bringing her down inside the penalty box. The referee pointed to the spot, and Morgan stepped up and sent the ball into the left side of the goal for her third brace of the tournament in the three games she’s played in so far. USA 6, JAM 0. WATCH GOAL. FINAL.
Additional Player Notes:
- Tobin Heath scored her second career brace tonight (last one was on Oct. 17, 2014, also in World Cup qualifying), and has upped her career total to 25. Heath has scored in three of the four games in this tournament, and in her last four appearances for the WNT. She did not play vs. Panama on Oct. 7. It was her seventh start this year in her 141st cap. She becomes the 23rd player in U.S. history with 25 or more goals.
- Alex Morgan scored her 22nd career brace and upped her international goal total to 96 in her 150th cap. So far, she has scored six goals in the tournament – three braces, one in each game she has played. At age 29, she sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA's all-time goal scoring list and is third all-time in two-goal games (22), behind only Abby Wambach (37) and Mia Hamm (28). She’s scored 23 goals over her last 23 WNT matches. She leads the WNT with 16 goals in 2018.
- Captaining the USA for the second time in the tournament, Megan Rapinoe scored her 41st international goal tonight and her seventh of 2018. Like Heath, Rapinoe has also scored in three games so far in this tournament. She also did not play against Panama on Oct. 7. Rapinoe leads the USA with 12 assists on the year and now has 56 for her career and is now in sole possession of sixth place all-time for the U.S. WNT.
- Julie Ertz scored her 18th career goal tonight, her second of the tournament and fourth of the year. It was the 26-year-old’s 70th cap tonight. Ertz now has scored three goals in her last five international appearances
- Abby Dahlkemper earned her second assist of the year on a beautiful long ball to Rapinoe. It was her 27th cap tonight.
- Lindsey Horan, who has played in every game for the USA this year, earned her seventh assist of 2018 tonight.
- Crystal Dunn earned her second assist of 2018 on a perfect cross to Ertz. It was her 72nd international appearance and 12th start of 2018.
- Alyssa Naeher recorded her 19th career shutout and third of the tournament tonight.
Additional Team Notes:
- The USA is 15-0-2 in 2018, with wins against Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (thrice), China PR (twice), Japan, Brazil, Chile (twice), Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica; and ties against Australia and France.
- The USA is unbeaten in its last 25 matches (22-0-3), and has outscored its opponents 89-17 through that stretch, scoring in all 25 games.
- The U.S. has now scored 4+ goals in six of its last seven games and in five straight.
- Six of the USA’s 24 goals in this tournament have come via headers.
- Ten different players have scored in the tournament thus far (24 total goals): Alex Morgan (6), Tobin Heath (4), Carli Lloyd (3), Megan Rapinoe (3), Rose Lavelle (2), Julie Ertz (2), Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Christen Press and Samantha Mewis.
- U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis’ three subs tonight were: Morgan Brian for Julie Ertz and Christen Press for Megan Rapinoe, both in the 46th, and Emily Sonnett for Rose Lavelle in the 58th.
Here is a preview of USA-Peru, presented by Volpi Foods.
DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 58/0), 22-Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0)
DEFENDERS (8): 6-John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 35/3), 18-Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 0/0), 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; 5/0), 21-Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), 3-Matt Miazga (Nantes/FRA; 10/1), 17-Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic/ENG; 5/0), 19-Ben Sweat (New York City FC; 1/0), 2-DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 55/0)
MIDFIELDERS (9): 23-Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 20/2), 24-Jonathan Amon (Nordsjælland/DEN; 0/0), 4-Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 141/17), 8-Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 4/0), 16-Julian Green (Greuther Fürth/GER; 13/4), 14-Fafa Picault (Philadelphia Union; 2/0) 15-Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 3/0), 20-Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 8/0), 11-Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 6/1)
FORWARDS (3): 9-Andrija Novakovich (Fortuna Sittard/NED; 3/0), 13-Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 4/1), 7-Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 42/13)
MNT FALLS IN SPIRITED 4-2 DEFEAT TO COLOMBIA
The highlight reel got plenty of use and an MNT side growing together gained lots of experience in Thursday’s 4-2 defeat to Colombia. Following James Rodriguez’s first-half golazo, the MNT utilized opportunistic strikes from Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood to take an early second-half advantage. Led by its powerful attack, Colombia rebounded via goals from Radamel Falcao, Carlos Bacca and a bicycle kick Miguel Angel Borja to see the match out. While disappointed with the defeat, MNT players recognized there were plenty of lessons to learn from the experience.
STEFFEN DEPARTS MNT CAMP
After playing the full 90 minutes against Peru, goalkeeper Zack Steffen experienced tightness in his right hamstring and the decision was made for him to depart camp, allowing the 23-year-old to return to Columbus Crew SC as a precaution. Steffen was not replaced on the roster, leaving the squad at 22 players going into the Peru match. Earning his sixth cap against Colombia, Steffen tied Kasey Keller (1990) and Troy Perkins (2009) for most appearances by an MNT goalkeeper during his debut year and can break the record with an appearance next month against either England or Italy.
WITH ASSIST TIM WEAH JOINS DISTINGUISHED COMPANY
Tim Weah registered his first career assist when he threaded a clever ball to Bobby Wood in the 56th minute of Tuesday’s match against Colombia. With that, Weah (18 years, 232 days) became the third youngest player to register an assist for the MNT, coming in behind only Christian Pulisic (17 years, 349 days) and Juan Agudelo (18 years, 197 days). See below for the full list of MNT players that achieved the feat during their teenage years.
Sept. 2, 2016
6-0 W at St. Vincent and the Grenadines
17 years, 349 days
June 7, 2011
2-0 W vs. Canada
18 years, 197 days
Oct. 11, 2018
2-4 L vs. Colombia
18 years, 232 days
Oct. 25, 2000
2-0 W vs. Mexico
18 years, 236 days
Oct. 15, 2008
1-2 L at Trinidad & Tobago
18 years, 344 days
June 22, 2008
1-0 W at Barbados
19 years, 20 days
Jan. 27, 2002
4-0 W vs. El Salvador
19 years, 149 days
Already with a goal to his name, it is also true that Weah is the third youngest player to register a goal and assist for the MNT, also behind Pulisic and Agudelo.
While the emphasis from the past year has been placed on bringing along the MNT’s next generation, the master plan has always included the return of key veteran players into the mix. As a result, the October matches presented the right time to begin the reintegration process, with MNT head coach Dave Sarachan tapping midfielder Michael Bradley and goalkeeper Brad Guzan to return to the squad for this month’s matches against Colombia and Peru.
“When you are building a team, at some point there has to be the proper blend of youth and experience,” Sarachan told ussoccer.com last week. “As we head into these last four friendlies of the year, I felt the timing was right to begin that transition. I think it’s important to do it earlier than a week before the Gold Cup or a World Cup Qualifier. Bringing in players like Michael and Brad, who have a vast amount of experience and can be a great resource for our younger players – both on and off the field – is an important step for us at this point in time.”
Bradley wore the captain’s armband once again and went the full 90 minutes in Thursday’s loss to Colombia, while Guzan is expected to start against Peru on Tuesday.
PERU BRINGS STRONG ROSTER FOR USA MATCH
Playing in their first World Cup since 1982, La Blanquirroja captured hearts with their enthusiastic play and incredible fan support this summer in Russia.
Manager Ricardo Gareca has largely stuck with the team he took to the World Cup, calling up 16 players from the squad for Peru’s matches against Chile and the USA this month. Along attacking midfielder Christian Cueva, the Peru roster is notable for having four players based in Major League Soccer, with forwards Raúl Ruidíaz (Seattle Sounders FC) and Yordy Reyna (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) joining midfielders Andy Polo (Portland Timbers) and Yoshimar Yotún (Orlando City SC) on the squad.
With the 2022 cycle officially underway, the process of elevating a rising crop of internationals is already in motion. Since November of last year, a total of 19 players have debuted for the senior MNT. Seventeen of them came in under 24 years old at the time of their first caps, while 10 will be age-eligible to represent the U-23 MNT in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament and 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. ussoccer.com has profiled 11 of these hopefuls at the start of the new video series RISING: Emerging Faces of the U.S. Men’s National Team, which chronicle the route of players on their quest to become a part of the National Team by going behind the scenes with family, youth, coaches, teammates and professional club managers from across the world. [WATCH SERIES]
- Having first met in 1989, the MNT leads the series with a 3-2-1 record.
- In the last meeting, the USA used a brace from Jozy Altidore to earn a 2-1 comeback victory on Sept. 4, 2015 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
- Tuesday’s match comes 22 years to the day of Peru’s first win in the series, a 4-1 victory on Oct. 16, 1996 in Lima.
USA ROSTER NOTES
- As of Oct. 16, 2018, the 22-player roster carries an average age of 24 years, 62 days, while 15 players are 23 years and under.
- Six players are age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo (born 1997 or later): Jonathan Amon, Reggie Cannon, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Antonee Robinson, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah
- Following the Colombia match, the roster averages 18.9 caps, with 16 players holding 10 or less appearances.
- The MNT’s October camp has been highlighted by the return of long-time veterans, midfielder Michael Bradley and goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
- With his next appearance, midfielder Michael Bradley will move into sole possession of third place on the MNT’s all-time caps list. Bradley currently sits tied with Clint Dempsey (141 caps) and sits behind only Cobi Jones (164) and Landon Donovan (157).
- Coming on in the 75th minute of Thursday’s match against Colombia, Ben Sweat became the 16th player to earn their MNT debut this year – third most in the modern era behind 1992 (21) and 2007 (20).
- Three more players have the chance to make their debuts on Tuesday: midfielder Jonathan Amon and defenders Reggie Cannon and Aaron Long.
- Bradley (141) and Guzan (58) lead the way in caps, followed by DeAndre Yedlin (55), Bobby Wood (42) and John Brooks (35).
- The roster features players that ply their trade in nine different countries: USA (7), Germany (4), Belgium, Canada, England and France (2 each); Denmark, Netherlands and Wales (one each)
- Bobby Wood’s 53rd minute strike against Colombia was his team-leading third of the year and fourth career goal against Top-20 ranked opponents.
- Tim Weah’s assist on Wood’s goal made him the third youngest MNT player to record a goal and assist at 18 years, 232 days. He comes in behind only Christian Pulisic (17 years, 349 days) and Juan Agudelo (18 years, 197 days).
- One of 16 players to make their senior-team debuts this year, Antonee Robinson leads the MNT with two assists, providing helpers to Tim Weah (May 28 vs. Bolivia) and Tyler Adams (Sept. 11 vs. Mexico).
- Last seen during the MNT’s 1-1 draw with France back in June, 18-year-old Josh Sargent has had a strong start to his competitive tenure at Werder Bremen, leading the club’s reserve side with six goals in 10 matches.
- Andrija Novakovich joins Amon in leading the MNT’s European contingent with four goals scored this season with Fortuna Sittard in the Dutch Eredivisie.
- A right back in the midst of his second MLS season, Reggie Cannon has appeared in each of FC Dallas’ 30 matches, adding a goal and three assists for the Western Conference leaders.
- Left back Ben Sweat has been a stalwart for New York City FC in 2018, appearing in 27 of 32 matches to help the club clinch a third-consecutive postseason berth.
- Also in his second season with Nordsjælland, 19-year-old winger Jonathan Amon has recorded four goals in eight matches across all competitions for the Danish side this campaign.
- Four players took part in the MNT’s last meeting with Peru, a 2-1 win on Sept. 4, 2015 in Washington, D.C.: John Brooks, Brad Guzan, Bobby Wood and DeAndre Yedlin
- Ten players have been part of a final U.S. roster at a youth World Cup: Kellyn Acosta, Michael Bradley, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Marky Delgado Ethan Horvath, Matt Miazga, Josh Sargent, Wil Trapp, Tim Weah and DeAndre Yedlin.
PERU ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals): *Updated through 10/12/2018
GOALKEEPERS (3): Patricio Álvarez (Sporting Cristal; 0/0), José Carvallo (Universidad Técnica de Cajamarca; 6/0), Pedro Gallese (Veracruz/MEX; 45/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Luis Advíncula (Rayo Vallecano/ESP; 72/1), Alexander Callens (Rayo Vallecano/ESP; 72/1), Wilder Cartagena (Veracruz/MEX; 4/0), Nilson Loyola (Melgar; 5/0), Johan Madrid (Sporting Cristal; 0/0), Christian Ramos (Al-Nassr/KSA; 73/3), Anderson Santamaría (Puebla/MEX; 11/0), Miguel Trauco (Flamengo/BRA; 33/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Pedro Aquino (Club León/MEX; 18/3), Horacio Calcaterra (Sporting Cristal; 3/0), Christian Cueva (Krasnodar/RUS; 52/8), Edison Flores (Morelia/MEX; 35/9), Paolo Hurtado (Konyaspor/TUR; 35/3), Sergio Peña (C.D. Tondela/POR; 5/0), Renato Tapia (Feyenoord/NED; 35/3), Yoshimar Yotún (Orlando City SC/USA; 79/2)
FORWARDS (4): André Carillo (Al-Hilal/KSA; 52/6), Andy Polo (Portland Timbers/USA; 18/1), Yordy Reyna (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN; 19/2), Raúl Ruidíaz (Seattle Sounders FC/USA; 33/4)
- Peru began the new World Cup cycle last month with matching 2-1 defeats to Netherlands and Germany.
- Most recently, they used a brace from Pedro Aquino to defeat Chile 3-0 on Oct. 12 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
- Sixteen players on the roster were part of Peru’s 2018 FIFA World Cup squad.
- Forward André Carillo scored what would stand as the game-winning goal in Peru’s 2-0 defeat of Australia – their first World Cup win since 1978.
- Peru has been managed by Ricardo Gareca since 2015. He led the country to a fourth-place finish at that year’s Copa America as well as qualification to the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1982.
USA vs. JAMAICA
Date: Oct. 14, 2018
Venue: Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas
Broadcast: FS1 & UDN
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Starting XI vs. Jamaica: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz, 16-Rose Lavelle, 9-Lindsey Horan; 17-Tobin Heath, 13-Alex Morgan, 15-Megan Rapinoe (capt.)
Substitutes Available: 2-Emily Sonnett, 3-Samantha Mewis, 6-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd, 11-Mallory Pugh, 12-Hailie Mace, 14-Casey Short, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 20-Christen Press
- U.S. head coach Jill Ellis is starting the same lineup she put out against Mexico in the opening game of the tournament on Oct. 4 and against Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 10. She made nine changes on Oct. 7 against Panama, and Alyssa Naeher, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Crystal Dunn, Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe did not see minutes in that second game.
- The USA is 14-0-2 in 2018, with wins against Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (thrice), China PR (twice), Japan, Brazil, Chile (twice), Panama and Trinidad & Tobago; and ties against Australia and France.
- The USA is unbeaten in its last 24 matches (21-0-3), and has outscored its opponents 83-17 through that stretch, scoring in all 24 games.
- All 20 players on the U.S. roster have seen minutes through the first two matches of the tournament. No player has played the total of 270 minutes, but defender Abby Dahlkemper has been on the field the most (257 minutes). Ten different players have scored in the tournament thus far: Alex Morgan (4), Carli Lloyd (3), Megan Rapinoe (2), Tobin Heath (2), Rose Lavelle (2), Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Christen Press and Samantha Mewis. Nine players have assists, with Lindsey Horan leading the way with three.
- Alyssa Naeher has 18 career shutouts and will earn cap No. 36 tonight and her 13th in 2018.
- Kelley O’Hara makes her fourth appearance for the U.S. WNT since the 2018 SheBelieves Cup. She will earn her 111th cap tonight in her seventh start and appearance of 2018.
- Abby Dahlkemper will earn her 27th cap tonight. It will be her 14th appearance and 13th start of 2018.
- Becky Sauerbrunn will earn her 146th cap tonight. Sauerbrunn is in 20th place on the all-time caps list.
- The always versatile Crystal Dunn came off the bench to play outside back against France on March 4 after Casey Short was injured about 30 minutes after coming on as a sub herself and has been playing in that position ever since. Dunn will earn cap No. 72 tonight and make her 12th start of 2018.
- Julie Ertz will earn her 70th cap and has scored 17 international goals, most recently against Mexico on Oct. 4. She is one of four U.S. players to have played in all three group games.
- Lindsey Horan, the 2018 NWSL MVP, has played in every game for the USA this year. She will make her 14th start tonight and has scored three goals with six assists in 2018.
- Rose Lavelle will earn her 17th career cap tonight and makes her sixth start this year. She has scored five international goals, most recently her first career brace vs. T&T on Oct. 10.
- Tobin Heath will make her seventh start for the U.S. WNT tonight. She has scored 23 career goals, the most recent one against T&T on Oct. 10. Heath will earn cap No. 141 and is in 22nd place on the USA’s all-time caps list. She is tied with Lindsey Horan with six assists in 2018, second most on the team.
- Alex Morgan, who comes into the match with 94 goals after scoring her 21st career brace against T&T on Oct. 10. She will earn her 150th cap tonight. At age 29, she sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA's all-time goal scoring list and is third all-time in two-goal games (21), behind only Abby Wambach (37) and Mia Hamm (28). With her hat trick against Japan on July 26, the fourth of her career, Morgan is now fourth all-time in multi-goal games (25) behind Abby Wambach (45), Mia Hamm (38) and Michelle Akers (26). She’s scored 21 goals over her last 22 WNT matches. She leads the WNT with 14 goals in 2018. Morgan leads the USA in minutes played with 1,187 this year.
- Captaining the USA for the second time in the tournament Megan Rapinoe, who has scored 40 international goals and is 15th on the all-time goals list. Rapinoe leads the USA with 11 assists on the year and now has 55 for her career, good for sixth place in U.S. all-time, tied with Heather O’Reilly. She will earn cap No. 143 tonight and make her 14th start of 2018. Rapinoe's 55 assists in 141 caps is the best ratio of anyone ahead of her on the all-time list except for Hamm, who had a remarkable 147 assists in her 276 caps. She has also scored six goals in 2018.
Finally, it’s come to this. The U.S. Women’s National Team is set to play Jamaica on Sunday, Oct. 14 (7 p.m. CT; FS1, UDN) in the semifinal of the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship with a ticket to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on the line.
The biggest game of the last two years looms, and 90 minutes separate the U.S. Women’s National Team from earning a spot on the grandest stage for women’s soccer.
“This is it,” Megan Rapinoe said about the upcoming match vs. Jamaica. “I think everyone feels the same, that we play these friendlies all the time to put ourselves in the position to be successful in these games. This is for everything, it’s for France. Moving forward we want to win the Concacaf Women’s Championship, but more importantly we want to qualify for France, and this is our opportunity to do that.”
After three dominating wins in Group A play, the U.S. WNT traveled to Frisco, Texas on Oct. 12 after inclement weather forced the team to stay in North Carolina an extra day. And though there’s now just one game standing between the USA and the World Cup, this has been a two-year journey that has seen much growth and increase cohesion develop among this group of players.
“We’ve gone through trials and tribulations, hard losses and tournaments that we haven’t played well in,” Sauerbrunn said of the road the WNT had to get through to get to this moment. “Because we’ve gone through the hard times, we’re appreciating the good times more and we want this to last. Everyone knows what it takes to be at this level and to perform the way we’re performing. Everyone is willing to put the work in.”
All 20 players on the roster have seen playing time so far in the tournament, with Abby Dahlkemper leading the way with 257 minutes, but only 10 have been in this exact situation before – needing to win a semifinal at a Concacaf Women’s Championship to qualify for a World Cup.
“The only thing that’s different about a high-pressure game is that there is something riding on it, but it’s the same as when we suit up against any team,” Rapinoe said. “You’ve got to appreciate the moment and realize that it’s something special and these moments don’t come that often. But also, just continue to play your game, enjoy it and hopefully this is one big game in a string of big games to come this next year.”Read more